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#21 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 11:52 AM

Sorry man

I just keep thinking of more stuff...I''ll stop editing like that

I didn''t know anyone was currently reading hehe


""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft


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#22 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1210

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 11:57 AM

What? As if I have a life other than hanging out here and reading stuff .

As for the seasonality-syndrome (ok, the dressing for the weather), I think that it would be cool if you benefited those who were that keen on the game. Don''t make it that big of a deal by forcing people to do it but make some small benefits for those who do. It is probably a little tedious for everyone to do, so that is why you shouldn''t force it.

This is a concious decision, and that is also why I don''t think that it should affect the storyline, but if you had something unconcious affecting the storyline (like who the player goes to first when they get back to town) then it could be very interesting for the player when they want different things or just are around chatting. It adds a non-random random element into the game

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"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy"
IOL (The list formerly known as NPCAI) - A GDNet production
Our Doc - The future of RPGs
Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#23 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 12:07 PM

quote:
Original post by dwarfsoft

What? As if I have a life other than hanging out here and reading stuff .



LoL...I should be working but I''m posting instead hehe

quote:

As for the seasonality-syndrome (ok, the dressing for the weather), I think that it would be cool if you benefited those who were that keen on the game. Don''t make it that big of a deal by forcing people to do it but make some small benefits for those who do. It is probably a little tedious for everyone to do, so that is why you shouldn''t force it.


This is a concious decision, and that is also why I don''t think that it should affect the storyline, but if you had something unconcious affecting the storyline (like who the player goes to first when they get back to town) then it could be very interesting for the player when they want different things or just are around chatting. It adds a non-random random element into the game

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft
"The Philosophers'' Stone of Programming Alchemy"
IOL (The list formerly known as NPCAI ) - A GDNet production
Our Doc - The future of RPGs
Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          



Okay, for me adding that non-random random element is great. I totally agree that is good. For the concious decision, what I''d do is make it so that the player can make several possible decision that could effect the storyline pretty directly (sometimes immediately, sometimes later). Also, going with the flow and not making a decision would be an option too, and it would have an effect too.


""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft


#24 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 12:10 PM

So, I guess what I''m saying is making a concious decision would have an extra benefit like you said, dwarfsoft. It would allow for an effect on the storyline. The player could still choose not to choose and things would be effected by the not choosing.

I''d like to reward the players with the inginuity and foresight to be able to effect the story, but not make it 100% required to advance the story either.


""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft


#25 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1210

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 12:11 PM

Yeah, the multitude of decisions is the way that it is usually done. To the player it may seem random - which is the good thing - but they can repeat it if they really want to. I also prefer not to see immediate effects, because then the player might learn from their mistakes and stop doing it (which is why I prefer not to tell them immediately). If you allow them to think that it is alright to keep doing what they are doing then you can a lot of significant changes further down the line. Tell them closer to the end. Have half of the game of them making decisions and then the second half of the game them getting the concequences of those decisions. Lots of fun

[ edit ]
It seems that we agree about the extra bits for those with dedication. I would just like to see those people who do that have better health or be quicker or generally just a little better than those who don't. Something that isn't really noticable to people who don't know where to look. I am still not sure if I would use it to affect the story line, maybe just indirectly with a combination of some more decisions. Otherwise people would just do it because there were benefits instead of because they want to

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-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft
"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy"
IOL (The list formerly known as NPCAI ) - A GDNet production
Our Doc - The future of RPGs
Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


Edited by - dwarfsoft on October 9, 2000 7:15:33 PM

#26 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 12:17 PM

The way that I''d like to see it, there wouldn''t be mistakes. There''d be decisions w/ possibly negative outcomes, but the outcomes would be interesting advances of the story.


""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft


#27 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1210

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 12:21 PM

That is what I was saying. A bit of good and a bit of bad. And the motto for your game can be "What doesn''t kill you only makes you stronger" or "What doesn''t kill you only makes the story more divergent"

N.E.Way, I''ll be heading off now, but I''ll be back this afternoon to see where this has all gone

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-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft
"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy"
IOL (The list formerly known as NPCAI) - A GDNet production
Our Doc - The future of RPGs
Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#28 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 12:21 PM

See, ideally I wouldn''t want it to feel like good/bad advances in the story just advances in the story. If the player gets thrown in an enemy prison because of a concious choice or if the player triumphs over the enemy because of another choice, they''re both advances of the story. Not good or bad. The former is a bit more interesting than the latter if you ask me, and it is the "bad" affect.



""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft


#29 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 12:22 PM

Okay, I think we do agree, dwarfsoft. Talk to ya later


""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft


#30 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 01:24 PM

Interesting reading guys. I''m an occasional poster over on the Elderscrolls forums and am posting in response to a post there by Nazrix. I hope it''s alright for a nondeveloper to join the discussion?

The non-random ''seemingly'' random event that shapes the destiny, and complications, of a player character in a CRPG is an interesting idea but I wonder if it isn''t just another way of obscuring a toggle in a linear plot.

One thing that I''m waiting for, as a player, is for roleplaying games to catch a clue from simulations games. If you look at some of the mosting interesting sims you''ll find them set in dynamic worlds where wars are raging regardless of what the player-pilot does. In some cases one is allowed to direct the course of the war but in many the player is just one pilot in a squadron dealing the best he can with genuinely unpredictable events in a consistant if dynamic setting.

An interesting thing happens here. The more imaginative players being creating their own stories from the events and encounters in the game. You''ll find millions of ''you are there'' logs of missions/adventures written in-character and often with more skill than short-stories turned out by what we might think of as traditional roleplayers.

Admittedly in most ways the boundaries of what''s being simulated are alot narrower in a flight sim, bound to cockpit or briefing room from the player''s point of view, than what one might expect in a roleplaying game. On the other hand, compared to the ''combat'' simulated in roleplaying games what''s presented in a flight sim is infinitely more complex (dealing with physics, weather patterns, issues of logistics and strategy, AI tactics in three dimensions and realistic airframes/weaponry, etc...).

What I''d like to see are roleplaying games where the slate is entirely blank plotwise and one plays the simulation of a role that''s player created but also suitable to the setting. A real roleplayer can always make his own story if the setting and NPCs respond properly to his behavior. Pretty soon the feedback between cause and effect will shape a character''s destiny, conflicts, and storyline as the engine adapts to that character. This is similiar to the idea that Daggerfall tried to shoot for but by modelling economics and emotions one can take it a step further. Imagine a database of the 22 plots (and there are only 22 I believe) waiting for NPCs with the right persona and relationship to the character to be integrated into the character''s sphere and then dynamically generate missions around that storyline and those NPCs.

I''d rather the engine to be paying attention to my character and how I play him rather than forcing me to pay attention to it''s details. I''ve refered to that as the tyrrany of the plot before and, while overblown, it''s rather how I feel. A truly modern RPG tends to devote pages to character concept and how that effects the freedom to play a role as well as how storytellers should base their stories around the natural interests and inclinations of the player created characters. Anything else seems artificial and a bit forced. The same I hope would be true of the CRPGs of the future.

Yes, I ramble but I don''t post often.

#31 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 09 October 2000 - 01:33 PM

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster

Interesting reading guys. I''m an occasional poster over on the Elderscrolls forums and am posting in response to a post there by Nazrix. I hope it''s alright for a nondeveloper to join the discussion?



I think it''s beneficial to us all to hear from a non-developer Thanks for the input.

Besides, now I have more artiliary against the Landfish. Just kidding, LF. I may have been missing what you were saying in the beginning anyway.




"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


#32 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 09:39 AM

Off the top of my head:
Ok, on one hand is a rigid preplanned plot. We force the players through the plot because that''s all there is. Fetch the 4 widgets. If you don''t fetch the widgets, the game state will never change.

On the other hand we have the totally free-form ''game''. Do what you want, hopefully it will be enjoyable enough for you to keep playing. Ugh.

I think there''s a better trick to this. The computer game world needs to be 1-2 steps ahead of the player in terms of planning (quests, plots, etc), but what the player doesn''t need to know is that the game is *only* 1-2 steps ahead. Make the larger plot structure largely devoid of fixed items (the end points might need to be fixed, but that''s about it).

The game would have to keep track of a lot of data about the current game world (is NPC X alive?). Anything the player does not immediately see can be generated behind the scenes as we need it. For example, we don''t need to determine if Official Y was bribed until we reach a decision that depends on that event in the past, or unless the player sees it.

I''m thinking some sort of chaos theory pattern to spawn future events. Hmm. I need to sit down and play with this idea some more.

#33 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 11:35 AM

Yes, I think that is a good idea. That's the main thing that I planned to do. You'd basically just use finite state machines to find out the states of different objects in the game and react to them accordingly.


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


Edited by - Nazrix on October 10, 2000 7:07:25 PM

#34 Wavinator   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1565

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 02:07 PM

quote:
Original post by Shinkage

I think this feeds more into something else. Game writers up until this point have focused almost exclusively on plot, virtually ignoring other literary elements. What''s funny is that for compelling stories, plot is generally considered one of the least important elements.

The first step toward eliminating current literary woes in the gaming industry is to integrate deep characterization and theme into stories.



This is a great point, and I''m surprised folks aren''t running with it! In the game System Shock, plot (beyond quests and tasks) was pretty much minimized, but characterization was really played up. As a result you got (or at least *could* get) emotionally envolved with the lost crew and their fate, even though it was all through logs and messages.

quote:

As long as games focus so much on just plot, it''s always going to be a matter of go to place A, commit act B, obtain object C, etc...


I totally agree!!! But when place A is the cell of a legendary but now embittered warrior about to go to the gallows, and act B is to free him of the guilt of losing not only his child, but an entire war, and object C is the evidence held by the scheming Viceroy that will make a deal with you if you only just sell your soul... well, then I think that''s cool, and you''re on the road to overcoming some of the significant problems that narrative brings to gameplay.



--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

#35 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 02:14 PM

Wow, Wav. You're on a roll today when it comes to making sense to me


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

""You see... I'm not crazy... you see?!? Nazrix believes me!" --Wavinator


Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


Edited by - Nazrix on October 10, 2000 9:16:13 PM

#36 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1210

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 05:48 PM

This is excellent and definitely something that I wish to get in on. Plot, hmmm.... I still beleive that you require a reasonably sound plot, no matter the characterization involved, however... I am 100% in agreement that strong characterization is needed to further a plot. I never really stepped back and said "They don''t do that, but they should". The reason that I say that plot is required is because without it, you have a great excuse for the player to criticise your game. They may like a little interaction, but they will on the whole diss your game. Nuff said

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft
"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy"
IOL (The list formerly known as NPCAI) - A GDNet production
Our Doc - The future of RPGs
Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#37 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 06:43 PM

Wow, I''d no idea that the slang word "dis" had spread all the way to Austrailia


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

""You see... I'm not crazy... you see?!? Nazrix believes me!" --Wavinator

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


#38 dwarfsoft   Moderators   -  Reputation: 1210

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Posted 10 October 2000 - 06:46 PM

Yeah naz, we are really Americanized over here in Aus. People wear around those jumpers with "USA" on them... Why they don''t rearrange them to "AUS" to be patriotic to there own country is beyond me! . We get a lot of US television over here too, and dis has definitely been picked up from there

-Chris Bennett of Dwarfsoft - Site:"The Philosophers' Stone of Programming Alchemy" - IOL
The future of RPGs - Thanks to all the goblins over in our little Game Design Corner niche
          


#39 Nazrix   Members   -  Reputation: 307

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Posted 11 October 2000 - 12:01 PM

We Americans should keep our crappy culture to ourselves and not bother other countries w/ it


"""" "'Nazrix is cool' -- Nazrix" --Darkmage --Godfree"-Nazrix" -- runemaster --and now dwarfsoft" -- dwarfsoft --pouya" -- Nazrix

""You see... I'm not crazy... you see?!? Nazrix believes me!" --Wavinator

Need help? Well, go FAQ yourself.


#40 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 11 October 2000 - 01:10 PM

I think I''ll amend my earlier post - there is some value to having a larger, if skeletal, plot. If we want the game to have a conclusion, and have the player deal with Mighty Evil then things should tend to drift towards that confrontation.

So the finite state machine needs to be weighted to drift towards a climax.

the nice thing would be if you could organize it so that the climax wasn''t particularly fixed. Example: the first time you play the game, you face Evil Wizard Fred, powered by a magic Foo. The second game, you race to Evil Fred, and disrupt any plans he might have for acquiring the magic Foo. So the plot finds another appropriate villain, Evil Lich Bob, who acquires the magic Foo while the hero is dealing with Evil Fred.

Or somesuch.




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